Team Jackson Meeting 5/21/15 Recap

We had a great Team Jackson meeting at the Capital Club yesterday and appreciate the presentations by Michael Rejebian, President of Jackson’s Downtown Neighborhood Association, and Tom Ramsey (La Finestra) and Allison Bell’s (Jaco’s Tacos) presentation of the newly formed Downtown Business Association of Jackson (DBA Jackson). To find out all about them, please visit their Facebook pages.

We were also honored to have Stewart Speed and John Ditto, developers of the Meridian at Fondren detail all the facts regarding this incredibly exciting venture. Scott Spivey, Mississippi Business Journal’s “Under 40 Businessman of the Year”, presented what and how his company, the Mississippi Home Corporation works with the private sector to partner for the purpose of offering work force housing in not only cities across the country, but specifically here in Midtown and Fondren.

Scott discussed the new multi-family development in Fondren, the Oxford, Taylor and Downing Court, the Midtown development West-Millsaps Homes and the downtown development Capitol Art Lofts. All of these projects are possible due to the tax credit programs offered through the Mississippi Home Corporation.

All of these projects are very exciting and keep elevating our growth in our capital city!

Team Jackson / DJP Smith Park Revitalization Report

Thank you all for your support of the “Re-greening of Smith Park Rehabilitation” rollout luncheon meeting at “The Manship” this past Tuesday, February 24th. We had an outstanding turnout, especially considering the weather, and 87 people attended of the 105 registrants. Special thanks to John Ditto for his “how we got here” presentation, Michael Rejebian for his incredible historical analysis of Smith Park and the wily and “oh so interesting” James S. Smith, Arden Barnett’s overview of the new bandstand and concert areas, and the presentation of “What Makes a Park Special and Friendly” by William Whyte protégé Madge Bemiss (google him).

Robert Poore and Rob Anders analysis of the sustainability of the new park, its environmentally clean nature, foliage and tree collection and entertainment areas and structures was equally outstanding. The star in the crown was probably the schematic “what we can have” and was obviously a HUGE hit with the crowd, as judged by the robust reaction and applause by the audience, the questions and encouraging comments. Thanks, Robert, Rob and Madge for an beautiful park rendering and outstanding
presentation!

As further evidence of the enthusiastic response, at the end of the program, 55 people signed up for a “Friends of Smith Park” support organization, which I found really amazing. We will be in touch with those that did, and in the meantime, if you would like to be a part of this effort, or have friends or associates that would, just email us and let us know. We
will not be “formalizing” this support group for a couple of weeks, as we have much to do in the interim.

Next steps will be meeting with the City Council and Mayor/Staff on Monday, March 2nd, hopefully getting a “resolution of support” for these efforts, and then go to work procuring funding for the $2MM project. As the state is investing $130MM in two new beautiful museums with hundreds of school children visiting daily (and needing a beautiful, safe, fun area to dine on those sack lunches), with the proximity to the Capitol and also being in the
backyard of the Governor’s Mansion, this would surely seem to be a big “plus and win – win” for the state of Mississippi, along with the city of Jackson.

Ben Allen

Click here for the Conceptual Designs of Smith Park presentation.
Click here for the History of Smith Park presentation.